Posts Tagged ‘Paradise of Bachelors Records.’

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Mike Polizze, Fishtown resident and frontman of Purling Hiss and Birds of Maya, has announced his debut solo album, Long Lost Solace Find. According to Polizze’s hand-written announcement, the album is “largely acoustic, mellow, and almost without electric guitar.” In other words, it’s a complete left turn from his previous work as Purling Hiss, which features harsh walls of lo-fi noise rock.
Along with the announcement came the upcoming record’s lead single, “Revelation.” This warm, acoustic guitar-driven track features Polizze’s longtime Philly friend Kurt Vile contributing backing vocals and a gorgeous trumpet countermelody. “You came to me like a revelation,” Polizze declares, sweetly. “Revelation” features catchy, pop hooks, while the twangy guitar riffs keep it firmly rooted in the Philly folk tradition.

Mike’s debut solo album—and his first release for Paradise of Bachelors.—finds the erstwhile Purling Hiss frontman and Birds of Maya shredder stepping out from behind the wall of guitar noise into the bright sunshine. Performed entirely by Polizze with longtime friend Kurt Vile (largely live and acoustic) and recorded by The War On Drugs engineer Jeff Zeigler, this intimate Philadelphia affair clarifies the bittersweet earworm melodicism of Dizzy Polizzy’s songwriting, revealing bona fide folk-pop chops. #LongLostSolaceFind finally harvests the wild local honey from the buzzing hive of Hiss.

Check out “Revelation” and order Long Lost Solace Find here, out July 31st on Paradise of Bachelors.

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Iconic and iconoclastic Texan singer songwriter and visual artist Terry Allen’s heartbreaking, hilarious new album, his first set of new songs since 2013’s Bottom of the World, features the full Panhandle Mystery Band, including co-producer Charlie Sexton (Dylan, Bowie, Blaze), Shannon McNally, and Jo Harvey Allen; mainstays Bukka AllenRichard Bowden, and Lloyd Maines; and co-writes with Joe Ely and Dave Alvin.

The connections to Melville’s masterpiece are metaphorical and allusive, as elusive as the White Whale. The masterly spiritual successor to Lubbock (on everything), “Just Like Moby Dick” casts its net wide for wild stories, depicting, among other monstrous things, Houdini in existential crisis, the death of the last stripper in town, bloodthirsty pirates (in a pseudo-sequel to Brecht and Weill’s “Pirate Jenny”), the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan (in the “American Childhood” suite), a vampire-infested circus, mudslides and burning mobile homes, and all manner of tragicomic disasters, abandonments, betrayals, bad memories, failures, and fare-thee-wells.

Appropriately, then, his heartbreaking, new album “Just Like Moby Dick”, is first set of new songs since 2013’s Bottom of the World, takes its title from the archetypal monster of American literature and the American imaginary. (Coincidentally—or not—his label Paradise of Bachelors also takes its name from a Herman Melville story.) “Memory shot her crystals as the clear ice most forms of noiseless twilights,” Melville writes, and for most of the novel, Moby Dick himself remains hidden, haunting Ahab as a crystalline monster of fathomless memory, a terrible fever dream from the depths. The whale remains a specter on Allen’s record too, appearing explicitly only in the briny final line of the last song “Sailin’ On Through,” and on the artist’s Side D vinyl etching and CD insert drawings, where he lurks menacingly beneath the roiling seas of Thomas Chambers, the 19th-century maritime painter whose floridly freaky nautical scenes adorn the album jacket.

Fortunately, Just Like Moby Dick features friends in spades, including the full Panhandle Mystery Band in its current, formidable iteration. It is the most collaborative album in Allen’s catalog and arguably his most sonically rich and varied as well. Terry shares keyboard duties with his son Bukka Allen, who also plays accordion and piano. Pedal steel master and de facto Panhandle bandleader Lloyd Maines contributes slide guitar and dobro, while Richard Bowden brings his characteristically kinetic and lyrical fiddle; both musicians have appeared on every Allen album since Lubbock (on everything).

The brilliant Charlie Sexton, a veteran of Bob Dylan’s bands since 1999—he’s also played with David Bowie and Lucinda Williams and stars as Townes Van Zandt in Ethan Hawke’s 2018 Blaze Foley biopic—co-produced the record with Terry at Austin’s Arlyn Studios, plays guitar, and sings. Drummer Davis McLarty, a Mystery Band mainstay since Human Remains (1996) is joined by more recent rhythm section additions Glenn Fukunaga (bass) and Brian Standefer (cello). Terry’s other son Bale Allen sits in on djembe on “Abandonitis.”

The most clearly transformative new presence here, however, is Shannon McNally, who sings sublimely throughout, taking lead on “All These Blues Go Walkin’ By” and Jo Harvey’s jazzy “Harmony Two” and duetting with Sexton on “All That’s Left Is Fare-Thee-Well,” making this the only Allen album to cede lead vocals to other performers. Just Like Moby Dick is also unusual in featuring five songs co-written, in various permutations, with fellow travelers Joe Ely and Dave Alvin, as well as Sexton,

Chicago songwriter and guitarist James Elkington—who has collaborated with everyone from Richard Thompson to Jeff Tweedy to Tortoise—has announced his new album, “Ever-Roving Eye”, out April 3rd, alongside the video for lead single “Nowhere Time” and UK tour dates with Joan Shelley. He recorded his sophomore album at Wilco’s Loft Studio, expanding upon his “beautiful, complex, and assured” (Pitchfork) 2017 debut Wintres Woma, as well as his recent production and arrangement work for the likes of Steve GunnNap Eyes (he produced their upcoming Snapshot of a Beginner), and Joan Shelley.

Casting glances back to British folk traditions as well as toward avant-garde horizons, these brilliant new songs, as accessible as they are arcane, buttress Elkington’s brisk guitar figures and baritone poesy with strings, woodwinds, and backing vocals by Tamara Lindeman of the Weather Station.

Ever-Roving Eye is even more elaborate, shrewd, thoughtful, and confessional than its predecessor. Though it sounds like a line culled from a murderous Child ballad, the title has everything to do instead with the slipperiness of satisfaction, and the equal parts virtue and vice that is being your own mule and driver. The album’s lead single/video, “Nowhere Time,” is a call to take up arms against procrastination, and features some of Elkington’s most daring guitar-wrangling. “A more cosmic acquaintance of mine once told me that when your life is going in the direction you want it to, it’s the universe’s way of telling you that you are in the place you’re meant to be,” Elkington says. “Does that sound likely? Not at all, but the song asks the question anyway…” The track’s accompanying video, directed by Tim Harris, features James, Spencer Tweedy on drums, and Nick Macri on upright bass.

James Elkington’s “Ever-Roving Eye” is out April 3, 2020 on Paradise of Bachelors.

Nap Eyes will release their new album, “Snapshot of a Beginner”, their most concentrated and hi-fi effort to date, on March 27th via Jagjaguwar / Royal Mountain, in partnership with Paradise of Bachelors. Throughout the album, there’s an immediately noticeable leap in arrangement and muscle, one that still holds the raw, nervous energy and the earnest, self-deprecating poetry that make Nap Eyes an enduring cult favorite. The music still brings to mind the bucolic ennui of the Silver Jews and Daniel Johnston’s jittery naïveté, but the new sheen and maturity also now brings to mind the wide-angle appeal of The Jayhawks and the addictive brightness of Green Day’s Kerplunk!.

Lead single “Mark Zuckerberg” is a hi-fi jangle-pop earworm that, at its outset, sounds like it could be the theme song from Party of Five. Less a takedown of any one specific, capitalist tech fascist than it is a poem about the confounding and beautiful swirl of modern life, it is their thoughtful, incisive Hit for The People. “Transcendence is all around us,” Chapman repeats, a freeing incantation and a gift to us all as the coda slows and expands.

On the video, the band notes: “People are scared of Mark Zuckerberg. You look at him before Congress and think, ‘Is this the bogeyman? Is he a CIA plant? Can he read my mind with some sort of God-mode search feature in all my chat transcripts?’ This video leads us to believe that Mark wants to enjoy and surveil whatever world he inhabits, whether it’s starting a band with ghastly apparitions in the spirit realm or changing size according to his whim while observing natural and urban landscapes with equal awe. He wants you to accept his friend request and let him watch over you. ‘When there was only one set of footprints in the sand…’”

Almost all the songs of Nap Eyes are whittled into their final form from frontman Nigel Chapman’s unspooling, 20-minute voice-and-guitar free-writing sessions. Each member — drummer Seamus Dalton, bassist Josh Salter and guitarist Brad Loughead — then plays a crucial role in song development, composing around the idiosyncratic structures and directing the overall sound and feel of the songs.

‘Mark Zuckerberg’ from ’Snapshot of a Beginner’ by Nap Eyes, available March 27th, 2020 on Jagjaguwar

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The London-based, Cornwall-bred band brings a windswept energy and daylight to a contemplative, gorgeously rendered suite of songs about inhabiting the landscape, and our bodies, in joy and pain alike. Informed by songwriter David Morris’s spiritual practice, and recorded largely live in the studio, this is the band’s most ambitious and emotionally affecting work to date: atmospheric but deeply rooted, equally concerned with investigating the concrete and the cosmic, both quiet details of the everyday and looming matters of faith.

So damn pretty … Always but a squall away from breaking apart. – NPR Music

Fuses folk-rock’s past with its future. Red River Dialect is a language open to all. – The Quietus

Brave and different. – Uncut

Evocative songs of Cornish coastal contemplation. – MOJO

Strangely life-affirming sorrow … a tribute to the power of healing and reconciliation. – AllMusic

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Released by Paradise of Bachelors Records, Release date 31st January 2018

Punks gone country. They take all kinds of forms: lightning-fast thrashgrass band. Gravel-throated, neck-tattooed troubadour. Social D-indebted twang-rock hybrid. Gun Outfit are from the West, but they take a different—and unique—angle on this concept. As always, the band’s sound on Out of Range is driven by the languid voices and lysergic guitar playing of Dylan Sharp and Carrie Keith, who trade off both duties throughout. Vocally, Sharp speak-sings a la Lou Reed (or, more precisely, Silver Jews’ David Berman), while Keith’s spectral intonation gives these songs a needed leavening agent. Their guitars both seem permanently set somewhere between jangle and jam, with the distortion turned down and clean tones as far as the eye can see

Like a stone eroded by years in the arroyo, Gun Outfit’s enveloping “Western expanse” aesthetic of guitar levitations and honky-tonk hexes has become gradually smoother over time. Their fifth LP ranks as their most brutally beautiful statement yet. Drawing from mythologies both classical and postmodern, Out of Range builds a world in which Brueghel the Elder, St. Augustine, and the ancient goddess Cybele ride with John Ford, Samuel Beckett, and Wallace Stevens on a Orphic-Gnostic suicide drive towards the hallucinatory vanishing points of the Southwestern desert, debating the denouement of the decaying American dream. Dreamers wielding slide guitars. A tradition-warping band, with a punk aesthetic deep at the center and double-guitar desert-rock psychedelia at the surface. ­– The New York Times With its echoing grooves, drifting landscapes, and new textures—bits of bluegrass banjo, homemade electric sitars—it has the blue-sky sensibility of a soul-searching road trip. You want to get lost inside of it, to turn it up on a road trip that lasts for weeks. Expansive, arid, and dusty.

Gun Outfit’s “Out of Range” is out November. 10th, 2017 on Paradise of Bachelors.